Chennai: At a time terror modules are providing bomb making training to aspiring militants and ISIS is openly seeking to hire bomb technicians, 35 per cent of the sanctioned strength of bomb detection and disposal squads in the state are vacant.
Hit with staff shortage and saddened by the step-motherly treatment, the existing members of BDDS are a dejected lot. Though the total strength of BDDS is 181, right now there are only 120 plus people employed in the squad throughout the state. Of the 120, only 40 are permanent employees while the rest are battling for confirmation for the last several years.
“We are forced to work at the same salary for the last seven years because the ‘police 12’ administrative wing of the home ministry has not moved our file for the last 15 months. Despite positive response from the state DGP and chief secretary, the file is stuck at the ‘police 12’ office,” a BDDS member said.
The BDDS in Tamil Nadu was started after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed in a bomb blast in 1991 at Sriperumbudur. Since then the government had been filling the squad by recruiting bomb technicians in installments and till today the authority has not managed to fill all the posts.
All the people currently serving the TN squad are ex-army personnel, who were trained by the Indian army. In all other states, members for bomb squads and anti-sabotage squads are recruited on a permanent basis. Even the newly formed Andhra Pradesh had been luring members of TN bomb squads with offers.
“The state government had made announcements about buying latest equipment for bomb detection and disposal. Then how can they forget bomb technicians?” an ex-serviceman who had been serving in BDDS for the last seven years asked.
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